How to Spend 1 Day in Charlotte
With world-class museums, a rich history, and myriad green spaces, Charlotte offers plenty of things to do and see, even in 24 hours. Here’s how to make the most of your time in the Queen City if you have just one day.
Morning: City Highlights
Get your bearings on a tour that takes in the top highlights of Charlotte. Step on a Segway or hop on a bike and cruise past historic Fourth Ward, Old Settlers' Cemetery, and central Uptown district, home to the Mint Museum Uptown, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and NASCAR Hall of Fame. To leave the driving to someone else, opt for an open-top bus, trolley, or golf-cart tour, some of which include comedic commentary or allow for BYOB adult beverages.
Afternoon: Charlotte Outdoors
See why Charlotte is also known as a city of trees. Explore the centrally located Romare Bearden Park or The Green; smell the flowers at the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens; look for wildlife at McDowell Nature Center and Preserve; or explore Freedom Park, with trails, a lake, demonstrations gardens, and the family-friendly Discovery Place Nature (formerly Charlotte Nature Museum). For a look at the past, take a tour of Historic Rosedale Plantation or Historic Latta Plantation. More active visitors gravitate to the US National Whitewater Center, which offers more than 30 land- and water-based activities.
Night: Live Events for All Tastes
Catch a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway or a ball game at BB&T Ballpark or Spectrum Center. If the arts are more your style, take an art gallery crawl or book tickets for a show at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center or Neighborhood Theatre. Music fans can discover up-and-coming artists in the NoDa neighborhood or see concerts by more established artists at AvidXchange Music Factory (formerly NC Music Factory) and Bojangles' Coliseum. Or join a food tour and sample North Carolina’s vinegar-based barbecue sauce, or opt for a brewery or distillery tour. For a spooky alternative, join a haunted history tour.